With six Stetsons and six guitars, Midland made it to London at the fourth attempt, two and a half years after the original pre-pandemic postponed show of 2019.
From the wonderfully-named Dripping Springs in Texas, Midland thrilled a packed crowd with a flawless, masterful performance oozing quality, control, virtuosity, class. The Texas country trio of lead singer/guitarist Mark Wystrach, bassist/vocalist Cameron Duddy and lead guitarist/vocalist Jess Carson were superbly backed by a touring band of dual guitars, pedal steel, keys and drums. The energetic Jonathan Terrell delivered a very well-received support performance and he was onstage for the main set as one of the band’s multitude of guitarists.
This was a performance of maximum music and minimum small talk. Wystrach said “We’re from Austin, Texas, it’s a delight to play for you and we’re going to play y’all some new ones, some old ones, some of ours and some of theirs. By the way, how do y’all say y’all in London?”
Electric Rodeo began the show. It was clear this was going to be a special night – the sound quality was excellent, the harmonies perfect, and the seemingly effortless guitar synchronisation weaved a spell over the audience. The rich, compelling vocals of frontman Wystrach were appropriately prominent in the mix.
Texas country came to the fore with Two To Two Step from the new album The Last Resort. The laid-back Burn Out and Out Of Sight showed great harmonies. Adios Cowboy and Put The Hurt On Me were smooth and sophisticated. Mr Lonely rocked the joint. This was a well-paced performance, with uptempo and slower numbers appropriately interspersed over nearly two hours.
The triple platinum hit Drinkin’ Problem began the extended encore, with the band turning up the heat and the house lights. Cameron Duddy swapped bass duties for an impressive stint behind the drumkit and they closed with Springsteen’s Dancing In The Dark and Petty’s Mary Jane.
At the end, an emotional Wystrach conducted the crowd in a raucous rendition of Neil Diamond’s Sweet Caroline, the band’s walk-off music. He was reluctant to leave the stage, and the audience was reluctant to let him go. “This has been an absolute dream. Thank you” he said, as the trio’s latest album sat at number one country album in the UK.